As we all know, severe supply chain issues have been ongoing as the effects of the global shutdown due to COVID-19 linger. Many auto manufacturers had new vehicles piling up waiting on chips, computers and phones were having issues getting the glass they needed (as well as chips), Infant Formula, and the list goes on and on.
Our industry has been no different. Training supplies including face shields, AED trainer pads, and even lungs for the manikins can take months to arrive.
AEDs are an important lifesaving tool and are also in very short supply. In fact, the FDA in July added AEDs to their list of medical devices in short supply. They are expected to be in limited supply for at least the rest of 2022.
This also includes AED parts such as Pads and batteries. We are being told some Physio batteries will not be in until January at the earliest. And Pads are taking months to come in.
What does this mean for you?
As you are performing your monthly AED inspections if your pads or batteries are within 90 days of expiring, we suggest ordering the parts now. Stock is being handled by most distributors as first-in, first-out so you need to get an order placed to get a place in line.
If you are looking for new AEDs, most likely you aren’t going to find any. There are some Defibtech units popping up here and there, but the rest are back ordered through at least December. Some vendors are able to get either Factory Refurbished, or Vendor Refurbished units. Factory refurbished units are refurbished by the manufacturer and usually carry a longer warranty. Vendor refurbished units are handled by the Vendor using factory parts and usually carry a one-year warranty from the vendor. These are typically at a lower price point.
There are pros and cons to Refurbished units versus new ones (including risk), and we typically recommend new given the greater risk of failure in refurbished units (more so in Vendor ones), but given the supply chain issues, it may be the only option. We would recommend obtaining one, preferably factory refurbished, and when the supply chain normalizes, getting a new unit to lower the risk of it malfunctioning when a life depends on it.
If your pads are expiring or will expire before the new ones come in, a few months past the date will probably be ok (no guarantees). Similar to the battery if the unit checks out ok; but again no guarantee.
If you have questions, want to discuss options for an AED, or need to order parts, please Contact us ASAP or call 518-722-0090